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Anthrax outbreak hits Marondera

BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA

a suspected anthrax outbreak has hit the Chimbwanda area in Marondera West killing several cattle, while close to 10 people are currently under treatment after consuming meat from the carcasses.

When The Standard visited the area last week, three beasts from the Mushore family were being burnt before they were buried in a bid to avert the spread of the disease.

At the local Chimbwanda Clinic suspected anthrax patients who had developed sores were receiving treatment.

Pauline Mushore (72) of Farm 23, narrated how the cattle died and appealed for government assistance to avoid more cattle deaths.

“There is a crisis here and we have lost cattle like this within a short period of time. The cattle would appear as sleeping then get dizzy before dying. We are appealing to the relevant authorities to assist us and take the matter as an emergency,” she said.

Those who ate the meat from the dead animals fell sick at least two days later.

The councillor for the area, Charles Mudhiriza, said the responsible authorities had since been notified and that a vaccination programme would commence after the construction of a pen.

“The cattle are dying and government departments have since been notified. We are currently establishing a pen so that the animals can be vaccinated on Wednesday.

“This is the second time such an outbreak has been reported at Farm 22 near the Mushores where about four cattle that were brought from Lower Gweru died upon arrival and we suspect that is where the problem could have started,” he said.

Anthrax is a deadly disease that can kill an animal within a few hours. If not treated, those who consume the meat will also die.

The outbreak of anthrax follows the January Disease that killed thousands of cattle in Mashonaland East last year. Most farmers especially in Chikomba and Wedza had their cattle herds wiped out by the disease also known as Theiliorisis.

There were also unconfirmed reports yesterday that in Bikita and Chirumanzu districts several people are under treatment after eating meat suspected to be infected with the disease.

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